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Are Hot Wheels Toxic Or Safe?

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As a child I can remember having those awesome Hot Wheels cars to play with, I even had a whole collection; it was awesome!! Hot Wheels were some of my favorite toys as a kid as I am sure they were to some of you as well. 

I loved playing with them, crashing them together, and more. But one thing that I hated was my younger siblings would always try and play with them too and sometimes even stick them in their mouths. 

Now, as a kid, I didn’t think much about whether they were toxic or dangerous to me or my siblings who were chewing on them but as an adult, the thought now crosses my mind with my own kids. 

As a parent, you may worry about how harmful your kids’ toys are. So if you want your kids to play with Hot Wheels but want to keep them safe you will of course want to know if they are toxic or dangerous in any way. 

Although Hot Wheels do meet all of the requirements for toy safety there have been some studies that have found some metals in Hot Wheels that are unsafe.

Now whether the amount of dangerous metal in the cars was unsafe or not was not mentioned in the study and the study happened almost a decade ago, however it still leaves me as a parent wondering what exactly is in all of my kid’s toys. 

In a report published in 2014, an environmental group did some shopping at local stores in New York and among their items was a set of Hot Wheels. They used a hand held device called an x-ray fluorescence analyzer, which performs a chemical analysis of an item. 

In the Hot Wheels pack, they found cadmium and mercury. 

Now, what are these you may ask? Cadmium has been used in the industry for a long period of time. It is a heavy metal that poses severe risks to human health. 

Up to this day, it could not be shown that cadmium has any physiological function within the human body. It has been proven that cadmium intoxication can lead to kidney, bone, and pulmonary damages. 

When it comes to mercury, it can cause harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and it may be fatal.

This is just one small study that a group of people did, and of course the toy companies all said that their toys met the regulatory requirements. It’s important to remember that this test was done almost a decade ago as well so that doesn’t mean that Hot Wheels or any other toys were or are toxic. 

But it does make you question the toys you are buying your kids. 

Cadmium is safe to the touch, so as long as you kids are not excessively putting Hot Wheels cars in their mouth, they are safe. The same is likely true with all the other toys that they deemed toxic. 

Just because something has a certain metal in it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s toxic or dangerous as a lot of it has to do with the quantity in it. The quality of the dangerous materials wasn’t covered in the report either so it’s possible that there were just trace amounts. 

Ultimately as a parent you have to make the final call. 

All toys (including Hot Wheels) have to meet certain safety guidelines to be able to be sold on store shelves. So although the above report is scary and it was something I wanted to mention, that doesn’t mean you should stop buying toys for your kids. 

Are Hot Wheels Safe?

Are Hot Wheel cars actually dangerous for your kids to play with? Or can they be considered safe? What are the hazards of playing with them? 

Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.

According to Mattel (the maker of Hot Wheels) their toys are safe for kids to play with. However that hasn’t always been the case. 

Some older Hot Wheel cars did contain lead paint. Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, had to recall nearly one million toys in 2007 in the United States because the products were covered in lead paint.

Because Hot Wheels are primarily marketed to children and lead paint has been banned in the U.S. for use on toys since 1978, active efforts are being made to keep lead off of currently produced cars. 

If your children are playing with older Hot Wheels (from prior to 1978) you should be extremely diligent in testing for lead paint on those toys. 

When in doubt, remember that testing kits are available at most hardware stores or even online by clicking here. 

While these toys are fun to play with, it is always good to have supervision and to keep an eye out for the things that are in or on the toys they love to use.

What Are Hot Wheels Toy Cars Made Out Of?

What are some of the things that go into the making of a Hot Wheels car. Some parts feel like they are metal while other parts feel like plastic. 

How can you know what elements are in them so you can determine if it is safe for your child? 

Hot Wheels are made of metal and plastic. The metal commonly used is ZAMAC (or Mazak), which is an alloy of zinc and aluminum. Zamac is also referred to as white metal or pot metal.

Zamac is all around safe to handle and is not dangerous for your kids to handle. This is what comprises the majority of what Hot Wheels cars are made of.

Are Hot Wheels A Choking Hazard?

When you have young kids there are times when you just want to leave your kids to play while you get some things done around the house; but unless you hear something break or some other loud noise, you could still  wonder if your child is ok. 

Some small toys that they might play with can be dangerous and harmful to them if you let them play with them unsupervised.

Is Hot Wheels one of those?

Hot Wheels are labeled as appropriate for kids three years old and up, but even then, it can be risky letting them play with such a small toy at such a young age. Kids like to break things and there are even smaller pieces on a Hot Wheel that could break off and wind up in your child’s mouth causing them to choke. 

The toy car itself may seem harmless, but the fact of the matter is that kids love to chew on things and stick things in their mouth. So when you go to buy some Hot Wheels for your children, you may want to wait until they are a little older or just let them play with them when you are right up close to them.

Again, Hot Wheels aren’t necessarily dangerous on their own, but in the hands of a small child, they can become very hazardous. So just use your best judgment when it comes to buying Hot Wheels cars for your kids.

How Do You Know If A Toy Is Safe?

You want to keep your kids safe when buying toys for them and you want to also make sure that you get them some awesome toys too. But how do I know what toys are safe and how do you find a balance between the two?

When checking a toy for a baby or toddler, make sure it’s unbreakable and strong enough to withstand chewing. Also, make sure it doesn’t have sharp ends or small parts like eyes, wheels, or buttons that can be pulled loose, or small pieces that can reach the back of the mouth.

You should be very thorough when searching for toys for your children. It’s a good idea to be aware of the tiniest detail about that toy. 

Check what is used to make that toy, the pieces that it contains, and even the pieces that might come off easily. 

Hot wheels cars are a good, safe toy that your kids can play with for many many years. The younger they are though, the more that you will want to keep an eye on them when they are playing with this timeless toy. 

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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